Special Education // Color-Coding: Above & Beyond Art Class

I remember when I was in 1st grade and my teacher told me she loved they way I colored. I was so proud of myself after that and felt so good that all I wanted to do was to color. Lucky for me, this passion grew into an organized chaos in which helped me learn best in school.

A lot of the accommodations that I use with my students is color coding words, phrases, texts, and anything that may help them organize their thoughts and keep everything in order.

Color coding can be beneficial to any student from any age. Did you know that color-coding improves recall time and can be an effective performance factor? It’s amazing really, what a little bit of color can do to help your child stay organized and on track with their assignments. Although we use it a lot at school, there are definitely some things you can try at home:


Color-code To Do’s: Do you have a system in place for after school activities but your child has a hard time keeping on task? A few colored sticky notes, or highlighted tasks  can help them remember when it’s dinner time, homework time, and play time!

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Rainbow Spelling: At school, a lot of our spelling words involve color! With just 2-4 different colors, you can have students learning to spell words correctly. First start with a light color then build up colors spelling that word. It’s a fun way to switch things up!

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Highlighting key words/symbols in word problems: This one would help everyone doing any basic computation! Start by highlighting math symbols so you know your student is computing problems correctly. At school, I usually highlight the subtraction sign for students who struggle to compute subtraction problems to remind them that it’s a “take-away” problem instead of addition. Sometimes they just need a little reminder. For word problems, I have students highlight key words that may help them solve the problem. For example,

“De’Andre had 8 markers. Liza borrowed some markers. De’Andre now has 3 markers. How many markers did Liza borrow?”

In this problem, we highlight the word ‘borrow’ as well as any important numbers we
need to solve the problem. This helps keep their thoughts organized while knowing
which operation to use. In this case, students would use subtraction.

It’s always fun to add some color to get away from the ordinary. Enforcing these habits early on might help them in the long run when they are more independent with their learning!